I’m not cool.
I only say that because I go on long walks all by myself for hours at a time, skipping and frolicking about whilst listening to music that I may or may not sing out loud as I pass by innocent people working in their lawns. Truly.
What is cool though is how much the Lord meets me there on the pavement; right in the middle of the sidewalk, He whispers my name and takes my hand.
I literally stopped dead in my tracks yesterday as I passed by a recently blossomed crape myrtle. I love crape myrtles and there was a row of 5 of them that lined someone’s fence. Each was a different, vibrant color and each had their own unique aroma. I couldn’t help myself but to touch each pedal and smell each bud.
The newness of each blossom made them soft and supple; bright and radiant as the sun showed through them, revealing all the little lifelines breathing vitality into each new pedal.
Then I came to the last tree with nearly bursting buds, but no blossoms. They simply weren’t ready yet. They were still developing– perfecting their pigments and making fresh the fragrance that they would soon release.
I started to tear up as the imagery resonated with my soul— I’m still just a bud. Nothing was wrong with that last crape myrtle– it was tall, strong, and healthy. It was planted in the same soil. It was watered the same way its’ friends were. Its’ flowers were still just “in the works.” It will, soon too I think, blossom. It will radiate the same beauty, just in its own way. It will release an intoxicating fragrance that will renew and refresh all who pass by. It’s pedals will be soft and supple, they will be welcoming to gentle touches. It will serve it’s purpose. It will be beautiful the way it was created to be.
I closed my eyes in that moment as I prayed a simple little prayer, “Lord, let me be like this tree.” As I stood there (probably looking like someone who had escaped the local mental institution) with my eyes closed, the sun sat softly on my eyelids and the breeze rustled the limbs above my head, tickling my imagination with shadows of things to come.
One of the inspiring influences of this moment of divine romance is in part due to Dave Barnes and his killer new album “What We Want, What We Get.” I highly recommend you get yourself a copy.
One of his songs I repeated… a lot. It’s called “God Gave Me You.” And while it paints a beautiful picture of a man who is given a wife that truly helps him become the hero he is meant to be, I couldn’t help but hear my heart sing the same song back the Lord. I just changed the lyrics a wee bit. Sorry Dave.
The chorus goes like this:
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you
As I listened to the song seemingly endlessly, I sang this:
God gave me truth for the ups and downs
God gave me faith for the days of doubt
And when I think I’ve lost my way
When I have no words left to say; You do
God gave me truth.
Is it cheesy? Heck yeah… but that’s how I roll.
Here’s a look and listen at the real deal. Take it away Mr. Barnes…